The skin of the candle which has lit Centre Square since 1951 was replaced with new marine plywood and the iron angles are also new. Still to go are lighting and electrical upgrades, along with new flames to top it.
While the city sponsors part of the annual lighting event, and the Easton Main Street Initiative has taken over organizing the lighting festivities from the Easton Holiday Committee since last year, the money for the needed candle renovations still needs to be raised.
Other fund raisers, such as "light a night" and the eBay auction for the privilege of being the "Illuminator" or person who gets to pull the switch that lights the candle for the first time of the season, contribute to the lighting event itself, not Peace Candle upkeep.
"We're still looking to the public to help with the renovations," Panto said.
"Shares" in the Peace Candle will again be sold this year for $10 each, and copies of a Peace Candle cookbook, originally printed and published by the Holiday Committee, will also be available for $10 a copy, he said.
Garden flags will also join the fund raising items this year, with the first in a series of Easton icons by Kaplan's Awnings depicting the Peace Candle. A portion of the proceeds of each sold will go toward the necessary renovations.
"Today we're introducing our first Easton scene garden flag," said Randi Kaplan DellaVichia. "Our goal is to introduce a new flag every six months."
The 12-by-18-inch banners will be available for $15 each during the Peace Candle lighting ceremony on Friday. They'll also be for sale in the shop beginning on Monday and available for purchase online at the company's website.
Kaplan's has also introduced Easton and Phillipsburg high school team banners and flags this year. A portion of the proceeds from those items go to support the booster clubs of the schools' respective teams, DellaVichia said.
Panto said he expects the flags, which Kaplan's plans to sell at the Peace Candle lighting event on Friday, will be a hit.
"We get a lot of request or Peace Candle memorabilia," he said, noting that the candle lighting is part of a series of well-loved Easton Thanksgiving traditions.
"It starts with the bonfire on Wednesday, the victory on Thanksgiving--which always makes the turkey a bit sweeter, and then the candle lighting on Friday," Panto said.
The lighting event is set to take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 29 on Centre Square. All metered curbside parking spaces in the Downtown district will be free all day, and many shops and businesses will be holding open house events and keeping longer hours that day too, the mayor noted.
Highlights of the Easton Peace Candle lighting include:
- The Easton Area High School Brass Ensemble at 5 p.m.
- A presentation by Lehigh Valley Youth Community Theatre at 5:30 p.m.
- A concert by the Easton Municipal Band at 6 p.m.
- The Santa parade, starting at Fifth and Northampton streets at 7 p.m.
- The Peace Candle lighting at 7:45 p.m.
- A concert by Tuba Christmas at 8:15 p.m.
Additionally, the First UCC on North Third Street will hold an open house, and both St. John's Lutheran Church and Cornerstone Church will have tents on Centre Square at the event.
This year's Peace Candle lighting event sponsors include Wells Fargo, First Energy, Valenca, Unity Bank, KWM Insurance, RMG Insurance, Marriott TownPlace Suites, and Haunted Easton.